The BBC made a mistake in its remorseless Brexit coverage

Most interviews on BBC Radio 4 of business people, economic experts and farmers have to have questions designed to elicit negative forecasts about the impact of Brexit, whatever the main subject of the item.
This morning on the Farming programme in the middle of an interesting piece about modern pig farming techniques we got to the regular lets condemn Brexit slot. The expert being interviewed then gave a most interesting answer, saying that if we went over to WTO terms with no general trade and partnership deal the UK pig industry would clearly benefit, expanding its domestic output and sales as tariffs came in against imported pork and bacon. The interviewer hurried on from this embarrassing forecast.
It reminded me how the BBC often seems to think a negative forecast that says Brexit will damage this or that is “news” even though many of them have already been proved wrong by events, whereas any more optimistic forecast is played down. I don’t suppose they will be leading the news today on the estimate that UK farming could benefit from a WTO tariff regime and win back lost market share from continental producers. They certainly ignored the point I made in my lecture about the obvious boost to output and incomes in the UK that we will get once we have our money back to spend here at home. I have yet to hear interviews where people are asked how they would like to spend the Brexit bonus.
I would still prefer the EU to agree a Free Trade deal to avoid tariffs, but the interview this morning was a reminder that there would be some winners from tariffs as the UK is a heavy net importer at the moment. Consumers should be recompensed by tax cuts from the tariff revenue, and UK businesses competing with EU products would be beneficiaries. More free trade is a good thing, but it needs to be reciprocal and then all are winners.

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173 Comments

  1. Know-Dice
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    There also seems to be very little exploration and reporting of the downside of a poor deal to other EU member countries.

    This morning talking about loss of jobs in the car industry in the UK, what about Germany & France?

    • eeyore
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Completely OT: from behind its pink paywall the FT is apparently reporting that for the first time in 16 years government finances are in surplus. Whether the deficit is truly dead or just playing possum is not clear.

      I hope our host will find time soon to address this remarkable news, and that HMG will not be shy to tell the public about it either.

      • Hope
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        This is your govt’s fault. You are in power and have been so for seven years. Why has there not been root and branch reform? Why has your govt allowed another increase in the fee when the BBC hogs 39 percent of of the market. it screamed when Sky wanted more.

        Again, your govt has done nothing. Strap line hot air and no action. That about sums up your party and govt.

  2. Helena
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I am quite sure the interviewer did hurry on from this embarrassing forecast! Anyone who thinks increased sales within a market of 60 million buyers in the UK can compensate for loss of free trade with a market of 400 million in the rest of the EU is clearly an economics dunce!

    Reply Import substitution when you import as much as we do could provide a useful boost to output at home.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Helena – passing over the fact that like several Remainers you seem to think insult is an effective form of argument, as we have been told repeatedly the EU is committed to free trade why on earth wouldn’t they conclude a fifteen trade agreement with us with no tariffs on cars ? The Germans are massive car exporters to us, would they really demand their cars be priced out of the UK market ?

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        The Germans are also massive investors and employers in the British car market. After Brexit how many people will lose their jobs when their plants are closed down? And who will suffer more?
        EXIT BREXIT!

        • Know-Dice
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          You ask “And who will suffer more?”

          Car workers in Germany when they lose the lucrative UK market…

          Or on the other hand if they want to continue selling cars in the UK market, they could always do more manufacturing/assembling in the UK.

        • NickC
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, You think the Germans invest here out of the goodness of their hearts? Ohh, hahahaha . . . . .

          You think the EU is there to support us in indolence and incompetence? Actually, in or out of the EU we must work competitively. That means the EU is not a prerequisite for our competitiveness.

      • Canell
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:05 am | Permalink

        Roy, are you paying attention or are you just dreaming? The Germans have made it crystal clear there will be concessions – if the Brits want to leave the EU, the customs union and the single market, then the Brits leave. Even the carmakers have said clearly that they regard the integrity of the single market as far more impirtant than exports to the UK

        • NickC
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          Canell, Are you paying attention or are you just dreaming? There is no “if” about us wanting to leave – we voted to do so quite clearly in a Referendum in 2016 under conditions set by Parliament. Did you snooze and miss it? If the Germans want to cut off their collective trade nose in order to play politics we will get our cars elsewhere.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      And how many of those 400 million are potential customers for UK goods?

      Bear in mind that 66% of EU member countries are in receipt of net EU funding, so not necessarily flush with cash….

    • libertarian
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Helena

      What a week! Airbus commits to Britain, French defence giant Thales opens new UK facility, Toyota chooses Burnaston, Bentley expanding, records broken at Aston Martin, 300 new jobs at Dyson and a dozen new factories

      Yes you still come out with this drivel, anyone would think you didn’t have a clue what you’re talking about

    • getahead
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      In 2016 the UK imported £302 billion worth of goods and services from the EU, and exported £242 billion worth. Your free trade with a market of 400 million doesn’t seem to give the UK much of an advantage. Not to mention the fact that “free” trade costs the British taxpayer £10 billion a year. Not very free then.
      WTO rules will be cheaper than the “free” market.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      As I keep saying – it isn’t *free* trade.

      In order to partake in it we need to give up home rule.

      We need to give up any notion of nationhood. In fact nationalism is anathema to leading remainers and ‘nationalist’ is used in the pejorative but only towards English people.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      As always with people like you, Helena, and as it has been for as long as I can remember, back to when I was at school in fact, this is all about our UK based businesses having better opportunities to export their products, and the reverse aspect that it becomes much easier for foreign businesses to export into our UK market is completely ignored. That is why we now have some disloyal retired civil servant pretending that we are enjoying a three course meal in the Single Market when the truth is that we are paying for the dinners of our trading partners.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Helena,

      Twenty times that by being world facing.

    • NickC
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Helena, Since our exports to the EU amount to only just over a tenth of UK GDP (11%, after the Rotterdam effect), and the EU exports over £100bn more to us than we do to them the difference in market size is not relevant. Businesses don’t abandon a market in a political huff, even if Remains imagine that happens.

  3. alan jutson
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    John, afraid the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation has had a socialist agenda for years, and it is getting worse every year.

    It is absolutely Pro EU in everything, quite why there has not been an investigation into the misuse of the licence fee, which under its Charter is supposed to give unbiased factual reporting is a mystery.

    Far from reporting facts, we now get so called expert opinions !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Selected “experts” all with the same “BBC think”, Pro EU, PC, Climate Alarmist, magic money tree economics and Trump is the devil agenda. Every single day.

  4. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Similarly I saw an interview in the Times with the CEO of the financial spread betting firm IG Index and he said they’d opened a full subsidiary in Germany so they’d have full passporting rights after Brexit and all it had involved was them employing four extra staff – so, easy to do and no problem. Again not the message we normally hear.

  5. majorfrustration
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    and then there was the interview today with Tony Blair!

  6. Peter
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Yes. I watched Mr. Redwood’s lecture on the BBC parliament channel. Very good indeed. Most of the points will be familiar to those who visit here.

    The key point is that it is all about taking back control and becoming a sovereign nation with accountable politicians that we can hire and fire in charge of our affairs. Everything else follows on from that.

    A generous introduction from the Speaker Bercow too.

    Radio 4 Today had a big anti Brexit interview with Blair. So business as usual on the BBC.

  7. Tad Davison
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I wholly agree, the BBC have lost any credibility it once had. They are so blatantly biased, it is plain for anyone with an ounce of common sense to see it. The example you cite is but one of many where the BBC ‘cherry pick’.

    It’s a pity the Prime Minister wasn’t more inclined to give a balanced view to counter the slanted misinformation that passes as journalism at the BBC. She’s had every opportunity to do so, yet she failed in front of LBC’s Iain Dale when he asked her five times if there was another referendum, would she then vote to leave.

    Perhaps the whole debate would be improved were she replaced by someone whose views are more representative like Jacob Rees-Mogg who would without doubt fully articulate the benefits of leaving the European Union. As leader, his words would have to be reported accurately, but at least he’d say something. Shrinking violets have had their chance, and have had their day.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The BBC are wrong on almost every issue they tackle. Every problem seems to be blamed on Brexit, Climate Change or Trump. It is staffed almost entirely by lefty art graduates (usually from a rich background) with virtually zero grasp of economics, logic, engineering or science. On political programmes on Andrew Neil is remotely balanced. Everyone else is way to the loon left. The lefty Tories are largely to blame for this. People like May/Cameron/Osborne/Hammond/Rudd never make the highly moral case for lower taxes. less government, cheap energy and far fewer regulations.

    They are wrong on their love of the anti-democratic sclerotic EU, wrong on ever higher taxes and ever more government, wrong on the absurdly exaggerated Climate Alarmism and green crap subsidy agenda, wrong on the NHS and state monopoly “education”, wrong on economic policy and wrong on Trump. They are also absurdly pro Corbyn actually taking his magic money tree economic policies seriously.

    I am no great fan of Trump, but he is largely doing the right things tax cuts, regulation cuts and cheap on demand energy. He is clearly far better than Hillary and will, I think, almost certainly win a second term.

    There is a compilation video of Trump V Freedman – trade policy debate where I am certainly strongly on the Freedman not Trump side. But perhaps Trump only took this protectionist line only to win the election.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      “only” Andrew Neil is remotely balanced.

      I meant.

  9. jerry
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    A similar thing happened on R5 about the same time this morning, regarding the NI boarder issue – but this is happening across the MSM [1], even pro Brexit media often get things wrong or ignore facts they do not like.

    [1] and many have far worse ‘bias’ than the BBC

    • getahead
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      I think not. None as rabid as the BBC.

      • jerry
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        @getahead; But is your assessment/opinion impartial or not its self?…

  10. BOF
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Indeed John, I heard it too and came to the same conclusion.

    Off topic. I also heard the interview with the shameless T Blair. Also the earlier speech by a single shade of grey, Sir John Major. Putting these together with the appalling ‘negotiation document from Brussels I would suggest collusion has taken place with the sole intention of inflaming and weaponizing the Irish Border question. These two are an utter disgrace.

    All, of course, given blanket coverage by the Biased Broadcasting Corporation.

  11. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    John,

    Please, kindly explain how a potential (maybe) bonus of “12 billion pounds” will be major kick and up-side to the economy. This of course assumes that everything else is equal in terms of economic development?

    • zorro
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Common sense really Hans – if we spend our £12bn nett gain in the UK instead of it being spent in Europe, it clearly has advantages for us in terms of spending power/employment. This will add to GDP over the year.

      zorro

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        yes penauts if we have the money left after falls in growth rates as is the case for the moment.

    • getahead
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Hans, I don’t know where you get the figure of £12 billion from and who said it would be a major kick and up-side to the economy.
      Certainly leaving the EU will promote trade with non-EU countries, and trading with Europe under WTO rules will be cheaper than EU Free Market membership. As I say, I don’t know where you get the figure of £12 billion from but any additional bonus is also welcome.

      • stred
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        It’s from Herr Goatinger ? the EU finance commissioner, who worked out how much they needed to find if we ever left and Treezer wasn’t bunging more money while kissing them and smiling nicely.

  12. Mark J
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    It is long overdue that the BBC was fully brought to account by the Government for its continual “anti Brexit” coverage.

    How can the organisation still continue to claim to this very day it is “impartial” when it clearly isn’t. This being proven time and time again.

    The BBC need to be told in no uncertain terms “clean up your act” – or face penalties including a cut to funding.

    We should not continue to be forced to keep propping up a left wing, anti Brexit propaganda machine any longer.

    • jerry
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      @Mark J; “or face penalties including a cut to funding.”

      But nor should supporters of left-wing politics be forced to prop up right wing propaganda machine, just because they want to want the footy or what ever, I agree (in principle) that people should simply pay for what they watch or listen to!

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Roy Grainger

      would they really demand their cars be priced out of the UK market ?

      I do hope so, that could really open the home market up for Land Rover, Jaguar

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      Mark J

      The BBC need to be told in no uncertain terms “clean up your act” – or face penalties including a cut to funding.

      No just closed down and then reinvented as a service fit for the 21st century. Well past their sale by date

      • jerry
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        @Turboterrier; As are all TV broadcasters in this age of IP streaming etc. Monthly subscriptions & non targeted scatter broadcast advertising is 20th Century technology.

        But I agree, the BBC does need to do less, better, even if the funding method was to say the same. Their goal should be to support what commercial broadcasts can’t fund or deliver, either because there will never be a economic case for broadcasting such content (true PSB) or because there is as yet no commercial market for the genre at the time.

  13. percy openshaw
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Another excellent post, Mr Redwood; but although it enlightens and encourages me as to the facts of the case, it depresses and worries me with regard to how that case is being made in society. The plain fact is that the media and academe – and with them, too many of the articulate young – are indoctrinated against democracy – they reject the referendum – and the free market – they prefer either Corbyn or the EU’s over-regulated, protectionist mess. How on earth are we to solve this problem?

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    In principle wherever we run a trade deficit with the EU it would be in our interests, at least in our short term interests, to have tariffs and other trade barriers reintroduced. The mass media habitually follow the lead of pro-EU politicians and organisations by failing to point out when we are a net importer, as we are with pig meat, and prefer to concentrate just on how the export side might be adversely affected.

    https://ahdb.org.uk/brexit/documents/Pork_bitesize.pdf

    “The UK is a net importer of pig meat, currently importing around 60 per cent of all the pork it consumes … Denmark is the dominant supplier, accounting for over a quarter of all UK pork imports. Together with Germany and the Netherlands, they account for 60 per cent of imports. The EU supplies virtually all the pork imported into the UK, due to the high import tariffs on pork from elsewhere.”

    It should be to our credit that despite running a massive trade deficit with the rest of the EU we are not proposing to reintroduce any protectionist trade barriers. It should be to our credit but it rarely is because the media so rarely recognise that we run that chronic and massive trade deficit.
    o

  15. JJE
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Do you think Wokingham will be able to grit their roads after Brexit?
    I would suggest they were taken by surprise by the snow and suggest buying the council a radio to be able to hear weather forecasts but I can’t even muster some proper sarcasm on this occasion.

    • Back light
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Grit and salt only work in mild winters. Normal British winters require the wheels and tyres that British importers strip from cars made primarily for use in eastern Europe and Scandinavia, not to mention Russia and her allies. Our cars are too low also on the ground except for travelling on perfectly flat dry motorways where centre of gravity, streamlining and possibly pedestrian safety are in fashion but not pavement fencing. Our cars are actually designed for kids’ indoor polished tabletop games not for our roads and weather.

  16. Ian wragg
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The BBC is a disgrace and should be a subscription service. The Corbyn speech and Barnier yesterday were treated with such reverence they make you sick.
    Then there was the clown telling us leaving the EU was swapping a 3 course meal for a bag of crisps. I hear the Home office has capitulated on EU immigrants during the membership extension. Doesn’t it get debated and voted on in this new era of Parliamentary scrutiny or is it just anti EU measures that require a vote.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      I hear the Home office has capitulated on EU immigrants during the membership extension.

      Yet another good reason to get rid of Amber Rudd. Like when with DECC totally out of her depth when it comes to understanding the fears and concerns of the electorate

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Can you please explain why the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky all flaunt the broadcasting code of impartiality on a daily basis with total impunity? Does Ofcom do anything or are they part of the establishment crowd trying to keep us in the EU too?

    • Chris
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      They do it because the government does not do anything at all about it e.g. with regard to its Charter. This indicates, and has indicated for a long time, that the pro EU stance of the BBC and others is helpful to the government i.e. it suits the establishment. You can be quite sure that if it irked the government/PM something would have been done about it.

      • matthu
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        So what you ae saying is that it suits the government to keep a lid on “populism” and they achieve this by ensuring that the BBC does not provide a ready outlet for “realism”.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        Yep ! 😉

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Brian, It is impossible for the BBC etc to be actually impartial. They are run by ordinary humans who are imperfect and therefore biased; even when they believe they’re not. The only fair option is to make the BBC pay-to-view. That way each of us can pay for what we like, rather than being forced to pay for what BBC groupies like.

      • Helen Smith
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps if advertised jobs in publications other than the Guardian and ceased only giving jobs to ex Labour MPs they would get a broader spectrum of opinion

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Why does the (Anglo-American)Establishment loathe RT that gives airtime to a variety of alternative views?

      We can’t have the harmonised narrative disturbed can we?!

      • Prigger
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        If they loathed it then it would not be broadcasting at all. What is the name of the equivalent Anglo-American broadcaster in Russia?

        • Mitchel
          Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          Ever heard of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty?Plus various websites-all propaganda.

          And RT America’s accreditation in the US has been withdrawn and they have been required to register as a foreign agent.

          Do keep up Prigger old chap!

        • mancunius
          Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          1) Voice of America (VoA)
          2) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)

          After the US had insisted RT register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Russia responded (only two months ago) by registering VoA and RFE/RL as ‘foreign agents’.

        • getahead
          Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          Your mission, Prigger, should you choose to accept it, is to discover the name of the Anglo-American broadcaster in Russia.

  18. Peter
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Reports that Boris Johnson was ready to resign over Brexit red lines during the recent eight hour meeting. However, he has not resigned and they are only ‘reports’.

    I suspect it is all part of the ongoing media battle between leave and remain Conservatives. I still have no idea how it will all pan out but I fear the worst.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Peter, Surely even most Remains can now see the EU for what it is, after its attempt to annex Northern Ireland?

      • mancunius
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        There are some Remainers who wish for the destruction of the UK, just to prove themselves right.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          not being a remainer I would not know, but I would call that a bit of an uninformed generalisation

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        NickC

        Surely even most Remains can now see the EU for what it is,

        No chance for that to happen, they have to have their eyes open and an open mind. Too long they have been allowed to tail gate and hide behind all those EU decisions.

      • Canell
        Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:08 am | Permalink

        It was Mrs May who committed to Northern Ireland aligning with EU rules, back in December!

        • Chris
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

          Indeed she did, Canell, so why have some key people apparently only just realised this? Charles Moore wrote at the time about the terms of the December agreement by May, and referred to it as a “complete capitulation”. I think he was right. Why didn’t Tory Brexiters fight this? Were they too scared to mount a leadership challenge for fear of having to call a GE and losing to Corbyn? If they had had a true and committed Brexiter as PM, none of this foot dragging, indecision, and incompetence would have taken place, nor would the Remainers have been able to rearm and mount such a disgraceful campaign against democracy.

        • NickC
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

          Canell, And? Is she “right” because she’s Mrs May? Does that make her right about the EU’s SM and CU in your eyes? Personally I think Mrs May is wrong on most things especially her appeasement of the EU.

  19. formula57
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Not all is lost of course for the odious BBC for whilst giving the pig farming expert airtime can be seen as an error and such person will never be invited back, that interview doubtless will be cited as proof of mandate compliance.

    I confirm my steadfastness in denying the BBC the oxygen of funding. Why does Parliament demand that to remain legal I then have to shun the live broadcasts of competitor media businesses?

    • Mark B
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      It is your last sentence that I share most. Why should I fund something that I do not want, especially when ‘decades’ old technology can be used instead.

  20. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    This pig farmer wants protection, not free trade. Should not that be bad for consumers? If the proverbial Danish bacon is cheaper now (free trade, no tariffs or other barriers between UK and Denmark), in the future relying more on more expensive domestic production would cost consumers, imo.

    • Chris
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      The animal welfare of pigs reared in the intensive units to common in (rest of EU ed) is appalling, in my view. As Gove has said, we can ensure far higher standards of animal welfare (plus no live exports which cause so much suffering) if we are in control of our own production. The EU encourages the large intensive farming factory units, which are so detrimental to animal welfare, which results in large scale routine use of preventive antibiotics (which in turn results in ever more antibiotic resistant superbug strains) and which can have very significant environmental effects e.g. slurry and disposal problems, drainage, smell etc.

      • Norman
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        Pig and poultry farmers are less in the thrall of EU subsidies than other agricultural sectors. Its a very murky world, when you’re forced to ‘follow the money’.
        So, yes, it would be nice to see a market-led boost in Free-Range concepts of pig meat production, which might well flourish more profitably in a ‘localized’ market. The automated methods that came in in the 1960-70s may be impressive, but are anathema to many.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Rien, You can hardly complain about UK import tariffs (likely to be lower than the EU’s anyway) when the EU upholds such a protectionist barrier around itself. Or is it a case of do as I say, not as I do, for the EU? And as you’ve had it explained many times, EU trade is not free, it’s very expensive for us.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      (Some foreign ed) bacon is (not so good ed). We buy dry cured Wiltshire back bacon which is far superior and no more expensive. Our pig farmers have nothing to fear from Brexit.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Ian,
        Unfortunately you have no idea about British farming

        • NickC
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Unfortunately you have no idea about British farming either.

    • jerry
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      @Rien Huizer; “This pig farmer wants protection, not free trade.”

      So you would welcome the EU scrapping the CAP? After all that is just as much about protectionism as tariffs are, ‘subsidising’ farmers to produce what would otherwise be uneconomic.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Rien

      Lol….. Please go and do at least a basic business course …. you really are talking twaddle

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

        NIckC

        All this emotional political propaganda talk and grouping/categorizing of people is getting rather monotonous and tiresome

        • NickC
          Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Huh?? I wrote about the EU and the UK and their respective tariff barriers. You know – the EU being an artificial political construct, and the UK being an independent nation once more. What’s with you continually whinging about grouping/categorizing of people? It sure is getting rather monotonous and tiresome. Your mind’s wandering, son.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

            yes daddy

          • NickC
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

            Hans, Your complaining about “grouping/categorizing of people” when the thread is about the EU and the UK lacks rational argument, and is therefore rather childish.

    • John
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      We are a high value economy and one with standards and ethics.

      We don’t force feed poultry with pummel sticks to produce fois gras.
      We don’t display cruel violent killing on bulls in retro Romanesque games for pleasure
      We don’t like to disguard thousands of tons of seafood for tick box admin processes but are forced to by the EU.
      We don’t transport live animals for slaughters 1000s miles.

      We are not the same, that’s all. To be who we are and to live by the values standard and ethics of who we are we need to leave the EU.

  21. Ron Olden
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Hypocrisy

    John Major urges Theresa May to give Tory MPs a free vote on the Brexit Deal.

    If Major thinks this, why didn’t he give Tory MPs a free vote on the Maastricht Treaty, which started the road to ruin in the first place, when he was Prime Minister.

    In any case perhaps Major isn’t aware that if Parliament votes down any deal, we leave on March 29th 2019, by operation of UK, EU and International Law with no deal whatsoever.

    That would suit me fine.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Ron Olden

      Very well said

  22. DaveM
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    R4 had their darling Blair back on this morning, sounding desperate and avoiding questions. To be fair the interviewer put him on the spot albeit in a gentle manner.

    No doubt his speech in Brussels will receive excessive coverage on the BBC alongside Major’s rant yesterday. When are Conservative back benchers going to start robustly refuting these people’s assertions?

    • Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes one wonders if ALL the media is being selective in what it tells us. Surely there are some powerful Brexit voices out there (besides our host’s) that should be heard loud and strong. Why allow the BBC et al to broadcast and publish everything that’s pro EU without any refutation?

  23. oldtimer
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    You will not get any change in behaviour from the BBC. It requires all relevant programme editors to follow the BBC party line on the issues it wants to promote. This extends to drama, comedy and documentary as well as political programmes. It is obvious from listening to the BBC.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Indeed especially in theirs so called “comedy” programmes which are absurdly left wing, climate alarmist, pro magic money tree Corbyn and pro EU.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      We watched Casualty the other night. It is now nothing more than a rant about NHS cuts and funding.

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

        The acting is so poor too-you would have been much better off watching our host on the Parliament Channel broadcast at around the same time.

    • jerry
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      @oldtimer; What you refer to is called an “editorial line”. Most broadcasters have them, and all newsprint media does, you won’t find many pro EU stories in the Daily Express, nor any europhobic stories in the New European title for example!

      • Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps if ”ordinary” commenters and the MSM would only put forward good and solid reasons for remaining in the EU, succinctly and dispassionately – we might have the basis for a sound argument, if not a comedy sketch.

      • The Prangwizard
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Those papers are not required to be impartial. The BBC is required to be but laughs in the face of anyone who says they are failing.

        • jerry
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

          @The Prangwizard; That’s the point, far to many people judge the BBC by the unregulated editorial standards and content they read in the newspapers, not by the actual regulations themselves.

      • oldtimer
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        It is true that news broadcaster and newspapers have an editorial line. What is significant about the BBC is that it is extended to its drama, comedy and other programmes too. This came to light some years ago when the BBC was challenged in a court case on its climate change agenda. The BBC claimed at the time that those attending a briefing on the subject were “climate scientists”. It turned out that among those attending the briefing were the heads of comedy, drama and documentary programmes. The BBC spent a lot of money (c£500-600k IIRC) trying to suppress this information.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        The BBC in particular is meant to be impartial. The Daily Express is not.

        • jerry
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          @Anonymous; Newspapers are meant to be factual though…

          • NickC
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, No, newspapers can be whatever they want: if they don’t sell, they’ll go out of business.

          • jerry
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; So were would you suggest people now go to seek the facts, perhaps the fiction section of their local book shop?!

            Funny new world we now live in, I do hope the OED updates their definitions to suit, just checked their website for the word “newspaper”, no mention of it being primarily a work of fiction…

  24. Adam
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    WTO may present a refreshing option overall.

    The so-called ‘free’ trade within the EU misleads its price. Much of what the EU costs is a tariff disguised, & may be higher than WTO would incur.

  25. Newmania
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    UK pig industry would clearly benefit, expanding its domestic output and sales as tariffs came in against imported pork and bacon.

    So how much more do you wish us to pay for bacon then, do you have a precise figures in mind? Last time you were making it up as you went along the prices of food was going to go down. The worlds largest piggy producer is China by the way I thought we were having a deal with China, or is that just hog wash , so to speak ?

    • Richard1
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      It’s a funny old mixture from continuity remain. On the one hand it would be dreadful to risk price rises for consumers by restricting EU imports as this pig farmer reportedly wants, on the other hand Patrick Minford’s unilateral free trade model is dreadful as it would ‘decimate’ (wrong word actually) UK manufacturing. There, continuity Remain likes protectionism because it’s EU protectionism. Personally I think both kinds are bad and the evidence for getting rid of both is convincing.

    • libertarian
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      What a week! Airbus commits to Britain, French defence giant Thales opens new UK facility, Toyota chooses Burnaston, Bentley expanding, records broken at Aston Martin, 300 new jobs at Dyson and a dozen new factories

      The good news just keeps on coming and you’ve still got your head up your…..

    • libertarian
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Newmania

      From the website of the UK National Pig Farmers Association

      There are opportunities arising from the UK becoming an independent trading nation. Demand for British pig products, especially in ‘fifth quarter’ cuts, have proliferated over the past five years in Asian markets – China being an excellent example of this. Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and The Philippines are also nations which have increased UK imports of pig products over the past five years. Whilst ‘fifth quarter’ cuts are a valuable export product because of the limited demand from domestic consumers, it is important to stress that similar volumes of fresh or frozen pig meat are also exported to the same Asian markets.
      The traceability, assurance and branding behind UK pig products make them a desirable product overseas.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      We already have prohibitively high tariffs against pork imported from outside of the EU, we don’t have to wait for them to come in.

  26. James Matthews
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Yes the “and now would you like to say how much you disapprove of Brexit” question has become almost universal.

    A few days ago, on the Today programme, while interviewing Sir John Tusa about his new book, James Naughtie gave Tusa the necessary opening and Tusa duly obliged. During the course of the exchange both conflated the EU with “Europe” and implied that leaving the EU politically meant leaving Europe culturally.

    This example stuck in the mind more strongly than most because of the way in which a flagship BBC News programme had no inhibitions about devoting a substantial amount of air time to one establishment BBC man helping another establishment BBC publicise a new book. An exceptionally clear example of the self-referential nature of the Corporation

    Wiki gives Tusa’s potted biography thus:
    “Sir John Tusa (born 2 March 1936) is a British arts administrator, and radio and television journalist. He is co-chairman of the European Union Youth Orchestra from 2014. chairman, British Architecture Trust Board, RIBA, from 2014.From 1980 to 1986 he was a main presenter of BBC 2’s Newsnight programme. From 1986 to 1993 he was managing director of the BBC World Service. From 1995 to 2007 he was managing director of the City of London’s Barbican Arts Centre.”

    Our host has clearly taken on board the partisan nature of the BBC and now openly acknowledges it. It is time the rest of the Conservative Party followed suit.

  27. Hope
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Major and Blair and like will say anything despite people having made up their own minds about them.

    Quentin Letts in the paper today about Major’s speech yesterday:

    He continued: ‘I know of no precedent for any Government enacting a policy that will make both our country and our people poorer.’
    I do. It was called the exchange rate mechanism and it was pursued, disastrously, by some ….of a PM in the early 1990s simply out of dogmatic attachment to the EU.

    Major goes on to speak about conscience as Letts points from a man who committed adultery! The sad thing is Rudd’s brother was in the audience listening.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, surely it cannot be true that Labour leaders have been colluding with the EU against their own country? People have been executed for that sort of thing.

    KING HENRY V

    God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.
    You have conspired against our royal person,
    Join’d with an enemy proclaim’d and from his coffers
    Received the golden earnest of our death;
    Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
    His princes and his peers to servitude,
    His subjects to oppression and contempt
    And his whole kingdom into desolation.
    Touching our person seek we no revenge;
    But we our kingdom’s safety must so tender,
    Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
    We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
    Poor miserable wretches, to your death:
    The taste whereof, God of his mercy give
    You patience to endure, and true repentance
    Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.

    Exeunt (various Remain figures ed) unguarded

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      That should be “guarded”! Guarded as they taken away for execution.

  29. Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    When oh when are we going to see the end of the BBC in its current form?

    If the BBC was re-established to look like the BBC of the 1960’s, or even earlier…we wouldn’t be getting loaded questions from the news programs – and eventualy the other channels just might follow that lead….
    But, first, we need the political will to kill off the beast, then make it produce decent TV, that is not full of over-priced stars…
    Nothing the BBBC does now is worth the lies and the bias they invoke.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      When oh when are we going to see the end of the BBC in its current form?

      With the likes of what we have got now , no chance

  30. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Have been watching Vladimir Putin and his report on the state of the nation address.

    No references to ‘our European partners’, just references to his sovereign nation and what is best for it and the Russian people. And the audience still with a unified perspective I would imagine.

    If only we had leadership with such perspective of national identity and ambition.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Do you think he might sell us some gas (as we appear to be very close to running out) from that new Arctic LNG plant-the one that’s supposedly under sanctions!

      • David Price
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        We already buy Russian gas.

        According to BG 44% of our gas comes from Europe of which 35% comes from Russia.

        • Mitchel
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Yes but the point is the newer sources are under sanction.Boris seems to believe(or possibly not believe but is obliged to act as a US stooge) that those those sanctions will not be lifted until Crimea is returned – and that ain’t gonna happen.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      yes AND NO DEMOCRACY BECAUSE THE OPPOSITION IS PUT IN PRISON OR BANNED

      • libertarian
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        hans christian ivers

        “NO DEMOCRACY BECAUSE THE OPPOSITION IS PUT IN PRISON OR BANNED”

        What you mean like the elected politicians from Catalonia ?

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Hans, There’s more democracy in Putin’s Russia than there is the halls of the EU.

        AND I SEEM TO REMEMBER THAT CATALONIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIANS HAVE BEEN PUT IN PRISON OR BANNED BY SPAIN WITH THE FULL SUPPORT OF THE EU.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

          Nick,

          I am sorry but I am not going to fall to this level of comparison and debate it is a waste of my time

          • NickC
            Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            Hans, You give it out, but can’t take it. So don’t be sorry about me satirising your style when you are more absurd than usual. At least I get the facts right, unlike you.

      • John
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes how very continental Putin is.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          John

          this is not worthy of a comment

  31. ferdinand
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Very apposite as we approach a No deal scenario. I do hope all UK companies trading with the EU are closely investigating WTO tariffs and regulations on their products, so that they can continue to trade with the EU.

    • Lemmy
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      For heavens sake, what are you talking about man? There is no such thing as WTO tariffs and regulations

  32. jack Snell
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    The EU is not going to agree a free trade deal because we have too many red lines in place..and on top of that we want to cherry pick our way to having our cake and eating it.. this is only stinking thinking still being pushed by Boris, Fox, IDS, J.R-M and Bill Cash to name a few.. and of course our host here who has been drumming on about this stuff for ages. The UK has been part of the EU club for decades now, in fact has helped to formulate a lot of the rules that our government is now trying to get around. but the EU crowd are onto us and it will be to no avail..as with everything to do with the EU..’politics trumps economics every time’- same goes for the UK..so no need to be talking about pigs, fishing or farming, all of this stuff is only secondary

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Why didn’t you mention the cherry-picker in chief Jeremy Corbyn ?

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Somewhat off-topic:

    http://brexitcentral.com/eu-reveals-true-nature-duplicitous-manoeuvres-northern-ireland/

    “It is worth stepping back for a minute to consider why an Irish border solution is even necessary at all. The UK and the Republic of Ireland could simply make unilateral decisions to maintain an open border even in the absence of any agreed solution for the border.

    The practical consequences of this would principally be a small loss of customs revenue and a minor increase in the risk of goods circulating which had been deemed legal in one jurisdiction but not in the other, for whatever reason. That is ultimately all that the “integrity of the single market and customs union” amounts to.

    Northern Ireland exports* to the Republic are worth £3.4 billion a year, which is equivalent to less than 0.1% of the EU’s annual external trade of £3.5 trillion.**

    The EU’s idea of a proportionate response to these largely negligible problems has been to propose to undermine the constitutional order of the UK as set out by the Good Friday Agreement.”

    * That would be goods and services, with the goods at about £2.4 billion, most but not all of which will be going by land across the border rather than by sea or air.

    ** And it is also about 0.1% of the UK’s GDP.

  34. Richard1
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I do hope the UK considers the unilateral free trade model espoused by Patrick Mitford et al, in the event we do go to WTO terms. It might be nice for pig farmers to put up high tariffs but for us pig eaters it would be better they were zero!

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Richard,

      Problem is Britih pig farmers are not competitive and wold suffer with a tariff free environment

      • Timaction
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        Is that because they don’t mistreat the animals?

      • mancunius
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        We can also have selective some state support for the farming we need to sustain.
        But ‘being uncompetitive’ and extending a cupped hand on its own is not an answer to anything – none of us is owed a living. Pig farmers can become more competitive by creating more specialised and high-value niche product markets for home and export.

        We should open (and order every council not to overtax and over-regulate) an open food market in every locality – as in France, and as we used to have in each UK market town – to help small domestic producers and mitigate the overweening economic power of the supermarket. Farmers’ markets show the way. We need more of them, to attract more customers and suppliers.

        These are just examples.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        We may still choose British pork out of choice. What I’d like is the choice. I may choose to buy a hand reared super organic free range French chicken, or an American chlorine washed one. So long as neither is poisonous I’d like to be able to make the choice based on price and quality.

      • libertarian
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Hans

        Go read the UK National Pig Farmers website then get back to me with this.

        Do some research before posting theres a good lad

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        Hans, Are you just an EU troll sitting comfortably in an office in the Berlaymont? Because you don’t seem to know much about us. I buy British pork, bacon and ham all the time and it is perfectly competitive.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          NickC

          Do you make all your predictions by looking into a crystal ball?

          Do you get all your interesting answers from the Sun newspaper?

          How many of your statements are actually fact-based?

          thank you

        • James Matthews
          Posted March 2, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          Ditto

  35. Iain Gill
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    The news is saying National Grid has announced that it will not have enough gas to meet demand in this cold weather. If this this true heads need to roll. WTF is going on in this country.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      We shut down cheap coal fired power stations and increased the use of gas fired station at the same time reducing gas storage
      PPE politicians running the energy sector. Idiots following EU directive. Note Germany is exempt.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      WTF is going on in this country.

      Worry ye not the politicians have “given” us all these thousands of wind turbines, solar panel and bio mass boilers to save us and the world

    • graham1946
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      What is going on is that every penny of profit is being wrung out of these businesses with the minimum amount of investment being made. We have the lowest stocks of gas (6 weeks I think) in the EU and I remember several years ago the government warned that the industry must make more storage available. Seems like nothing has changed, just a couple of days of cold and our industries are being told to cut back so the government doesn’t get complaints from the public if their gas is cut. Wouldn’t be surprised if companies who have to reduce will be getting some sort of subsidy. The Government just does not follow through on things it ordains (not surprising when most Ministries seem to play musical chairs) and the so-called regulators are just jobs for the boys and act more like Industry clubs than public guardians.

  36. Bob
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    “Most interviews on BBC Radio 4 of business people, economic experts and farmers have to have questions designed to elicit negative forecasts about the impact of Brexit, whatever the main subject of the item.”

    In the Nov. 20th debate in Parliament about the TV Licence our politicians concluded that the BBC was unbelievably marvelous!

    The politicization of virtually all of BBC’s output against the conditions of the Royal Charter is obvious to anyone with capacity for independent thought, and yet the Tory govt continue throwing our money at them. Why are they not held to account? Is it because the Trustees all happen to concur with the BBC’s political agenda?

  37. Ian Dennis
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    A red letter day on Question Time tonight, the panel has two Brexiteers.
    As any watcher of this program will know, that is a rare event indeed.
    We have Ken Clarke, remainer. Owen Smith, remainer. Nigel Farage and Michelle Dewberry both Brexitters and the fifth panelist, RADZI Chinyanganya, i have no idea, but there is no way the BBC would allow a majority of Brexitters.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget the Chairman as the additional Remainer. He and especially his brother on Any Questions seem to think it is Dimbleby Question Time.

  38. agricola
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    We have all too frequently been here before. The BBC likes to emphasise the confusion so it is of paramount importance that T May spells out what we are offering the EU on Friday. If it is a continuation of the tariff free trade for goods and services the ball is clearly in the EU’s court. Any statement from them that you cannot leave the EU and enjoy tariff free trade on goods and services would be purely political.

    Should they be foolish enough to reject such an offer they become the losers under WTO rules with the current balance of trade.

    Whatever they decide there needs be no internal Irish border problem unless the EU decide to impose such.

    The nation states of the EU may well ask some very embarrassing questions of the EU should EU intransigence lead to a reduction of their export trade with the UK. Another nail in the EU coffin.

    • acorn
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear! Oh dear. “what we are offering the EU”; “Should they be foolish enough to reject such an offer”; “the ball is clearly in the EU’s court”.

      The last one is the only one you nearly got correct, add to it is the fact that the EU owns the court and decides who gets to play in it.

      Nobody in Westminster or Whitehall wants Brexit, apart from the Rees-Mogglodyte 62. They don’t have the testicular fortitude, to risk their easy street £150 – 200 grand a year public sector salary; expenses and gold plated pensions, to bring down Mrs May, and risk an election that would likely put them into forced retirement.

  39. John
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The televised BBC News is as bad if not worse. Tuesday every interviewee was an anti brexit campaigner. The only clips of speeches were those on anti Brexit speeches.

    At one point a Welsh anchor then (as he often does) interviewed Michael Hestletine. Putting aside the stomach churning sycophancy he then ask Hestletine what wisdom and advice can he pass on to our viewers on Brexit.

    How very patronising that he thinks that the font of all knowledge on Brexit should come from Hestletine.

    Hestletine also got an awful lot wrong and inaccurate. His scaremongering about number plate recognition on the Irish border for terrorists was laughable. If he is so concerned about terrorists crossing the Irish border then what does he think about the current arrangement where there is no monitoring?

  40. fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic. The BBC has just announced that national grid are approaching big industries and asking them not to use so much energy. Who was it on this blog a couple of days ago that questioned Ian Wragg about power cuts??? May not be power cuts yet but asking industry to cut back is hardly a good way to manage our economy. The more renewable power that is introduced to the grid the more problematic running the grid will be.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      The gas and electricity grids are running at maximum and paying industry to reduce usage is akin to power cuts.
      Having spent most of my adult life in the power industry I know nothing
      We are where we are entirely due to the ruinous CCA. It’s time to drain the swamp as Donald says.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      I have a theory that the recent negative view about Diesel powered vehicles is an attempt to reduce demand for the fuel to allow it’s use in banks of electricity generators. This would ease the burden on gas-fired power stations and the apparent lack of supply.

  41. fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    OMG. I need to switch off. Blair is on the lunch time BBC news again. It’s all bad news again. I truly hope Mrs May is going to give a great speech tomorrow and tell them in no uncertain terms that we have had our democratic vote and now the Tories will implement it.

  42. NickC
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone really believe the BBC is actually impartial? Surely its preponderance of Grauniad journalists gave the game away decades ago. The BBC is as outdated as Agent Cob, and has the same worldview as Bliar. Free your children from brainwashing: stop paying the BBC TV Tax.

  43. VotedOut
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    The BBC takes money from leave and remainers, but represents the 48.11% only.

    Taking money from all people – on pain of imprisonment, is only possible if the BBC is fully impartial. It is not and it should be shut down.

    I note that a recent poll for a former and very vocal remainer prime minister, states 63% want to leave the EU regardless of any cost….

  44. Tom William
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    In similar fashion a BBC interviewer asked Louise Lear, one of their weather reporters, if “the beast from the east” was caused by climate change. Looking a bit embarrassed, and probably wanting to say no, she smiled and said something like “that is above my pay grade”.

  45. Richard1
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    An example of this occurred a few days ago in an interview on the Today Programme with the historian Jan Morris. The interview covered events in Ms Morris life. ‘What about Brexit’ asked the BBC interviewer – it was a non-sequitor so got not much of a response. ‘Yes but what do you think about Brexit?’ Insisted Ms Hussein. Then Ms Morris made the required negative comment and the interview could be brought to an end.

  46. Prigger
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    The Tory Party Conference in Aberdeen has been called off…due to general national transport, driving, planning incompetence beyond the pale certainly within the lifetimes of persons in their fifties and upwards.

    • mancunius
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Prigger, I’m sure the weather has provided more important casualties than yet more self-publicity for the attention-seeking Ms Davidson.
      (Though of course even without the snow Aberdeen is always lovely at this time of the year…:-)

  47. Raymond
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    I think European ‘Free Trade’ is a misnomer. I will explain (Please bear with me). True free trade optimises allocation of resources when all factors of production are charged at their marginal rate of productivity. This ignores differences in tax rates, direct and indirect subsidies, planning regulations and no doubt a great many other things. It also ignores transport costs which in themselves do not reflect real resource costs due to externalities (e.g. pollution) and inefficiencies in the pricing mechanism. Rather ‘Free Trade’ is a hotch potch. Perhaps ‘Free Trade’ is a bit like a philosophical or religious view whose adherents need to be penalised for scepticism, or that refuses to tackle difficult questions, in order to flourish.

  48. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I read Theresa the Appeaser has caved in again. EU migrants coming here during the continuity perid can now stay and bring their families.

    She cannot be trusted with the security integrity or sovereignty of our nation nor its people. She needs to be removed before she U-turns on anything else. Can she be trusted to keep her word ‘no UK Prime Minister etc’? I think not.

    • Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      During a lobby briefing yesterday it was announced by the British government that EU migrants will be allowed to continue entering the UK up to the end of the Transition Period.
      This means that any EU citizen can come to the UK with a permanent right of residence, for three and a half years after the British people voted to leave the EU and end freedom of movement. EU migrants will be able to continue arriving up to 31st Dec 2020, under the government’s latest concession.
      It is unclear why such an important and highly controversial decision was announced using the unattributable lobby system, instead of by using the normal government announcements system, or indeed by this being announced in Parliament.
      from http://www.facts4eu today.
      Obviously, the nation is just a tiresome irrelevance for Mrs. May, self-righteously destroying her own country.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

      And older relatives who can visit and use the NHS for serious ops, free. As someone else asked – how long can we keep delivering services charged below cost ?

      What *free* trade agreement ?

  49. John P McDonald
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is funded by those who voted not to leave the EU and those who voted to leave.
    Roughly speaking we would expect to hear a 50/50 split of opinions for and against. As this is not the case, is it not time the BBC is no longer funded by the public as it is now in effect acting like a political party trying to influence in a particular direction. It is no longer politically impartial. It is more biased than RT. The BBC’s focus is on entertainment rather than reporting the News in an even handed manner

  50. Helen Smith
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    I am so pig sick of the BBC, I hate it with a passion, is there a legal way to stop paying for it, why should I have to fund an organisation which holds me in complete contempt?

  51. mancunius
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    “Consumers should be recompensed by tax cuts from the tariff revenue”
    Your word in God’s Phil Hammond’s ear, JR, as like most of his European peers he seems to think that taxes are his to keep.

  52. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    https://euobserver.com/tickers/141159

    “Tusk to UK: ‘do you have a better idea?'”

    “European Council president Donald Tusk said Thursday that a ‘common regulatory area’ was the EU’s solution to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland after Brexit. In a speech ahead of a meeting with UK prime minister Theresa May in the afternoon, he said he “will ask whether the UK government has a better idea.””

    Yes, I do have a better idea: instead of the UK’s present Single Market legislation which originally made it possible for the Irish authorities to forego any checks at the border, pass and enforce new UK legislation which will achieve the same result by guaranteeing that all the goods exported from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic will still satisfy all the EU requirements which might otherwise necessitate border checks.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      By the way, his final option of a FTA like those with Canada, Japan and Korea would not do the job as they do not entirely remove the need for border checks.

  53. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Now we have somebody writing in the Telegraph:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/03/01/brexit-bold-enough-get-right-theresa-may-should-dare-dull/

    that the best idea would be to join EFTA and try to stay in the EEA, because:

    “People who have questions about what Brexit means for them could then simply look up how the issue they are concerned about is handled in Norway or in Iceland, and assume that something similar will be true of post-Brexit Britain. The Irish border, for example, would be similar to the Swedish-Norwegian border – a more noticeable border than now, sure, but hardly the Berlin Wall.”

    Except that the Irish government has already rejected anything like that:

    https://news.sky.com/video/is-the-norway-sweden-border-a-solution-for-ireland-11141058

    That was back in November, the Telegraph author obviously missed it.

  54. Original Richard
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    There are numerous UK organisations and lobby groups, such as the BBC and the CBI, who receive funding from the EU.

    For some information go to : http://ec.europa.eu/budget/fts/index_en.htm

    The government should introduce a law that requires “public broadcasters” to publicise how an organisation is funded whenever they broadcast a report or “research” from the organisation and the BBC should include itself when reporting on EU matters.

  55. Tall Story
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    “Blair on Brexit: We should ‘undo’ this ‘historic mistake’ ”
    Blair on his WMD hunt in Iraq ” History will prove me right”
    Okay, so not everyone is good at history, so what?!

  56. Andy
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    There will be some winners out of Brexit. There will also be some losers.

    It is the failure of the hard-Brexiteers to acknowledge this which destroys any small remaining credibility they may have had.

    Incidentally – some of the most vociferous supporters of Brexit stand to lose the most. This will be deeply ironic – and not entirely unamusing either.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      One minute you tell us older people don’t care about the effects of brexit because they are wealthy and retired owning their own homes next you tell us they have the most to lose.
      Ridiculous.

  57. Yossarion
    Posted March 1, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    There was a Classic with Blair some years back, a Lady from the Campaign for an English Parliament got on, Nickie Campbell was the host so guess R5 She was barely through Her first sentence before they just cut Her off

  58. Prigger
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    BBC Question Time. Why does the Labour Party despise Blackpool? Brown cancelled major casinos which would have breathed new life into it with regular local tourists. Now Owen runs down fracking which would enrich it even more. I think if someone in Blackpool literally opened up a new whelk stall the Labour Party Momentum Group would march in their hundreds against it on the basis that it was cruel to sea life.

    The great mystery of course is where all the money has gone from millions of tourists pouring into the town over the past hundred years or so and more. Behind the loud and ancient gaudy seafront facade one might as well be in an ordinary run-down town which has never had a penny spent on it or so much as a lick of paint. Grim!!! Someone should inspect its books pronto.

    Bur then the same could be said of old coalmining towns where the National Coal Board with rates, extended buying of local goods and paid wages poured hundreds of millions into them and just as soon as the mines were closed the towns were skint and the infrastructure was no better than an East Anglian small town and market. A mystery!!!

  59. rick hamilton
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    With You Tube and so many other on-line sources we just do not need our news filtered through the BBC’s Leftie mindset any more. It is no longer an impartial news provider, but a slanted opinion channel on the same level as Fox News. I strongly object to being forced to pay for it on pain of criminal prosecution. You might as well make it illegal to read a newspaper without subscribing to the Guardian first.

    Apart from all the other gripes, I am infuriated by BBC World TV’s habit of cutting off live coverage of an important speech or press conference (eg Barnier this week) half way through and returning to the studio, where some ‘expert’ is asked what did they say and what does it mean? Who cares what the BBC thinks, just show the damn event live and get out of the way !

  60. Prigger
    Posted March 2, 2018 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Japan’s unemployment rate fell to 2.4% in January. If only Japan were closer and could join the EU, it could be 10 or 15 times that and even more for youth unemployment!!! Losers!!!

  61. Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    If the BBC are being deliberately biased, then their licence needs looking at. Also the policy department would need revisions.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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